The John O’Groats Trail runs from Inverness to John O’Groats in 14 stages. The Square in Dornoch is at the junction of Stages 4 & 5.
Stage 4 is Tain to Dornoch which is 8.6 miles (13.9 km). This stage starts in Tain and leads past a famous distillery before crossing a kilometre-long bridge. It then goes along the shore of the Dornoch Firth before following a country lane into lovely Dornoch. The long bridge and the approach to it aren’t much fun, the longest walk along an A-road on the entire trail route. But besides that, it is a nice walk.
Stage 5 is Dornoch to Golspie which is 13.8 miles (22.4 km). This stage of the walk is something of a change: mostly walking along the shores of Loch Fleet and through woods, with much less time by the sea. It is mostly level walking and quite pleasant. This stage starts from the centre of Dornoch and goes along a gentle sea coast before turning inland and going round Loch Fleet. It then crosses the bridge known as The Mound at the head of Loch Fleet before going through pretty Balblair Wood on the way to Golspie.